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How Do You Insure a Classic Car?

Classic red convertible car traveling in the countryside at sunset

Unique cars require unique auto insurance. In fact, several types of cars need special insurance, including antique and classic cars, hotrods and modified vehicles, exotic and luxury automobiles, muscle cars, classic trucks and motorcycles, vintage military vehicles, and even antique tractors.

What Is a Classic Car?

Classic cars are more than just a mode of transportation. They are collectable pieces of art, machinery, and history. That’s just one reason why they require special insurance.

To be considered a “classic car,” the vehicle must have been manufactured in 1990 or earlier, making them over 20 years old. An “antique car” is 45 years or older, made in 1975 or earlier. Finally, a “vintage car” is a vehicle manufactured between 1919 and 1930.

Certain states even have specific designations for antique vehicles, deeming them “historic” as opposed to comparatively newer classic cars. Vehicles that meet these individual states’ criteria will have “Antique” or “Historic Vehicle” printed on their license plates.

Qualifying for Classic Car Insurance

There is actually more to qualifying for specialized insurance than simply owning an old car. For one, if you are driving your car and using it for everyday commuting, you will not qualify for classic car insurance. A classic car policy may include mileage limitations and require proof the car is being properly garaged if you do travel with it. In some cases, insurers may require that you also own a different car for everyday use.

If you plan to show your car at meetings and classic car shows, you may need specialized coverage specifically for car shows. The limited use provision of a classic car policy allows for travel to car shows and auto club meet-ups, but it may be restricted by some insurers.

Where you park and store your classic car is also important. When not in use, insurers will require that your special vehicle must be stored in a locked, enclosed, private structure, such as a residential garage or storage unit.

Finally, you may be disqualified from classic auto insurance if you have serious offenses on your driving record. Reckless driving, repeat speeding violations, or driving while intoxicated can disqualify you from obtaining specialized insurance for your classic car.

How Classic Car Insurance is Different

While your specialized policy will cover the same types of things as a regular auto insurance policy does, there are some notable differences.


Since classic cars are historical and collectible, they are not priced like other cars with a set “book value” for specific makes and models. Instead, you and your insurer must reach an agreement on the value of the vehicle. This value will be specified in your policy, and your car will be covered up to that value without depreciation. Something else that is different about classic cars is their value actually goes up over time, unlike an average car. You’ll want to make sure to adjust your coverage as the value of your auto appreciates.


With regular or modern vehicles, you can go to pretty much any mechanic for maintenance or repairing something broken. With classic cars, repairs and restorations are highly specialized, and parts and expertise are much more scarce. With classic car insurance, you should have coverage for repairs regardless of how specialized it is. Spare parts coverage should be aligned with the cost of replacing these valuable and perhaps hard-to-find vehicle components, such as wheels, transmissions, and engine parts.


Transporting a classic car requires more than the average vehicle and would be covered with this kind of insurance. That’s why coverage for towing is commensurate with the special demands of towing a classic car.

How Much is Specialized Coverage?

Luckily, since collector cars aren’t on the road as much as regular use cars, insurance premiums can be up to 40 percent lower than daily driver policies insured with traditional auto insurance. One of our friendly agents at Freeway Insurance can help you get the coverage you need for your classic car.

Whether you’re driving a brand-new car or a classic hotrod, you want to make sure it has the right coverage. Get a free auto insurance quote comparison online or over the phone at 800-777-5620.

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